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Serrette: We have to build on success of 2012
National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette is hoping the local track and field fraternity can build on the success of 2012. Speaking at the NAAA Awards Ceremony at Capital Plaza Hotel last Saturday, Serrette praised the association’s field events programme for the success of Keshorn Walcott, who stunned the world with his gold medal performance at the Olympic Games last August.
“We have seen the fruits coming out of our national field programme. Keshorn came out of that programme and had a great year (winning) from Carifta (CAC Juniors, World Juniors) and the Olympics. With regards to the field programme in Toco, we used to have the coach (Ishmael Lopez Mastrapha) go up to Toco twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday. We are hoping to re-introduce that. We have shortlisted athletes for this year’s Carifta Games (in Bahamas) and we have invited them to join the programme.”
Serrette said the NAAA’s function was the first occasion that his association had to pay tribute Walcott since his Olympic triumph. “Yes (this is the first function the NAAA has had to honour Walcott). We were not in control. It was taken over. We thought we will wait until our awards.”
The former national sprinter dispelled talks that there was a fall-out with Walcott and the association. “I am not aware of any. We had an issue. Before London, we had competition javelins that are not used for training. We felt at that time he may have been given some assistance before he got his own equipment. I don’t think that was anything and I didn’t make anything of it. We don’t have any problems as I know.”
Serrette revealed that some of the goals for 2013 included constitutional reform, the staging of the Central American and Caribbean Senior Track and Field Championships. We plan to change the structure of the NAAA through constitutional reform. We are in the process of doing up the terms of references to have a legal consultant on board to effect that. With regards to Carifta and the CAC Seniors we have a meeting with Sports Company. All those discussions are still to take place and some of those issues will come up.”
Serrette said recently appointed public relations officer Cleopatra Borel is to meet with him on her role with the association.
T&T recorded its best ever performance at the August Olympics, winning one gold and three silver medals to improve on the one silver and two bronze earned at the 1964 Rome, Olympics. Track and field athletes were responsible for all the medals won in London with 19 year old Keshorn Walcott leading the way with a gold in the men’s javelin as he became the second local to strike Olympic gold following in the footsteps of Hasely Crawford who captured the men’s 100m title at the 1976 Montreal, Canada Olympics.
Lalonde Gordon (bronze—men’s 400m) and the men’s 4x100(bronze) and men’s 4x400 (bronze) also won medals. Kelly-Ann Baptitste and Semoy Hackett etched their names in the history books as they were this country’s first female finalists with Baptiste finishing sixth in the women’s 100m finals and Hackett eighth in the 200m event.
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